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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stumbled At The Finish Line: Matteo's

After a nice walk from the North Side to Lawrenceville (Cohorts idea, not mine) we stopped by Matteo's for drinks and eats. The place itself is not large but it has a warm decor and a nice bar area. We sat at the bar and ordered drinks. While we reviewed the menu, a man appeared from the kitchen and announced "Bar wings!" He sat 2 plates of  hot wings on the bar and walked away. The bartender told us they were complimentary hot wings for the bar patrons. SCORE!! It was hot wing heaven! (And FREEE!) These were some good, meat falling off the bone, flavorful with a spicy kick hot wings! (Just spicy enough to leave that oh so good tingle sensation around your lips!) The only issue I had with the wings is the fact that they weren't listed on the menu. Odd considering they were the best thing we ate that night. Can I order wings if I'm not sitting at the bar? I don't know. We didn't see them being served to anyone else.
Hot Wings

Anyway, I suggest you ask for the wings or fight for them if you must. They are worth it.  Next up, greens and beans, an amped up version of an Italian favorite that included sausage, banana peppers, caramelized onions, great northern beans and spinach. I've never had greens and beans served this way and I was pleasantly surprised! I could not wait for my entree. I had ordered the lobster ravioli listed as a feature on their blackboard, but after a few drinks, the bartender informed me they were out of the ravioli. I'm not sure why it took so long for them to inform me, but I was disappointed. I ended up with the crab campenelle, a pasta with jumbo lump crab and sun dried tomatoes in a chive cream sauce. It looked delicious...looks can be deceiving. It was flavorless and bland. I was so displeased. Cohort ordered the BLT pasta and again something was missing - mainly flavor. We both expected so much more after the fabulous appetizers. I sat eating my dull dish looking at the blackboard that still read "Lobster Ravioli" wondering what could have been. We both ended up taking our entrees home. (Cohort is NOT in the habit of taking home leftovers!) Oddly enough the next day, with a few seasonings and some oven time, both dishes came together nicely! Amazing what a bit of garlic, paprika and Italian spices can do.
Greens and Beans

I would definitely go back for drinks and appetizers. When it comes to entrees....I would tread lightly.

PROS: Happy hour specials. Friendly staff. Good drinks. Awesome appetizers.
CONS: Entrees just didn't measure up. Blackboard features not always available. (It's a blackboard....just erase it!)

Matteo's on Urbanspoon

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